Being president is the ideal position for a self-refereeing psychopath. Those of us trying to sustain cultural norms try to show deference to the office of the president, which the psychopath can use as evidence of his supreme authority. The threat of being ousted from the press corps keeps the media respectful of the office from which the psychopathic referee-in-chief can systematically call fair on all his plays and foul on all critics.
The media end up in the role of petitioner, awaiting the president’s authoritative decision on the merit of the president’s decisions. The resistance ends up playing lawyer petitioning in the court he rules.
There’s no way to stop a self-refereeing psychopath short of relentlessly exposing his self-refereeing. Truth is, nobody asked him whether he agrees with his actions. The media should stop asking him and his lackeys to referee their own virtue.
President criticized Fox News at a rally on Monday for giving Democrats airtime after candidate Pete Buttigieg appeared on the channel
His father was a developer paying his taxes what did his son say to him? (ODT)
Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che took apart Trump, his enablers over on Fox “News” and the Senate, and his unhinged rally in Florida during their Weekend Update segment last night.
It’s important to uphold the constitution through impeachment – even if it goes nowhere, even if it’s unpopular with many voters, even if it’s politically risky
Democrats have voiced frustration with Barr’s handling of the report, suggesting the attorney general’s actions were designed to protect the president.
Barr has on multiple occasions characterized the report in ways that appeared to absolve Trump of wrongdoing, even though a redacted version of the Mueller report released on 18 April showed nearly a dozen instances in which the president or his campaign sought to obstruct justice.
A representative of Deutsche Bank said in a statement: “We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorised investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations.”
Attorneys and representatives for the two sides were not immediately available for comment late on Monday.
Washington: A former White House personnel security director has been instructed by the White House not to show up on Tuesday for questioning by the House Oversight Committee.
The move appears to be the latest effort by the Trump administration to push back against congressional inquiries of the White House, which have proliferated since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in January.
When Trump caves into the law will he yell No Collusion? (ODT)
President at work, wanting his Fake Russian Followers back on Twitter. The Bots Vlad and Olga have been fans since 2016 (ODT)
I should have never worried about a closed-door meeting between Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Donald Trump, because I should have known that the only Important Thing to Trump is the fact that he’s lost followers.
Perhaps Trump lost followers when Twitter removed the 5,000 bots unleashed to bash the Mueller report last week, which appeared to be connected to the Saudi Arabian government. Perhaps people are just tired of seeing his whining ways in their timelines.
No Interferance, No Collusion, No Obstruction (ODT)
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Tuesday that he plans to name a new illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights in honor of Donald Trump, to thank the American president for agreeing to overlook the unlawful nature of Israel’s annexation of the territory seized from Syria in 1967.
Occasionally we are surprised by Mr. Trump when he makes pronouncements that none of us thought to be within his realm of expertise. Of course, those realms are so all inclusive, as we have learned during the course of his presidency, that we should not be surprised. His recent pronouncements on wind, and wind related devices, however, have caused some of us to wonder if there resides within Mr. Trump a body of scientific knowledge of which we were unaware or, alternatively, is he is simply an ignoramus.
This is the reason he MUST be impeached not just voted out (ODT)
Trump is relying on others to rescue him from destroying the American economy. He riding the tail end of the Obama Comet and says it’s the head. (ODT)
Global finance ministers and central bankers are prepared to “act promptly” to shore up growth in a world economy that faces downside risks including trade tensions, according to a statement issued on Saturday.
While growth is projected to firm up in 2020, “risks remain tilted to the downside”, according to a communique by the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the main advisory panel of the IMF’s 189 member countries.
Mnuchin is not yet complying with the Democrats’ request for Trump’s tax return partially because he does not see “the legitimacy of the asserted legislative purpose.”
The history of the provision shows, however, that Congress enacted this measure to enable investigations into private individuals and the highest-ranking government officials to ensure that they are not getting favorable treatment or evading their taxes.
Maryanne Trump Barry, the president’s sister, resigned her seat as a federal appeals court judge on Thursday to avoid an investigation into her ― and her brother’s ― alleged tax fraud.
“Now man you better come up with the money” (ODT)
On the eve of Israel’s election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took credit for President Donald Trump’s decision to impose sanctions on Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, by designating it a foreign terrorist organization.
“Thank you, my dear friend, President Donald Trump,” Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew, “for answering another one of my important requests.”
This is Anti-Semitism and Pro-Israeli Politics Israel is your country and America is protecting it F*****s Anti- Israel isn’t anti-Semitism. Netanyayu has just promised to annex the West Bank if only Israelis vote for him and he has the guns to do it. (ODT)
Addressing American Jews on Saturday in Las Vegas, President Donald Trump casually invoked the anti-Semitic trope of dual loyalty by referring to Israel’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, as “your prime minister.”
Given that Trump was speaking to Jewish Republicans — including Sheldon Adelson, the American casino magnate who is one of Netanyahu’s biggest donors — the president was not wrong to assume that the crowd was strongly pro-Israel, but the accusation that the loyalty of non-Israeli Jews to their home countries is somehow suspect has a long, ugly history.
Later in his address to the Republican Jewish Coalition gathering, Trump referred a second time to American Jews as if they were Israelis by saying that a victory for Democrats in the 2020 election “would cripple our country and very well could leave Israel out there all by yourselves.”
One of the worst things about every recent president is that they all play golf, the worst sport for bad people. Clinton played a lot of golf, Bush played a lot of golf, and Obama also played a lot of golf. Trump has also made himself famous for playing a ton of golf in office. Unlike the other guys (probably), what sets Trump apart is that he is well known as a massive golf cheat.
Trump and his propaganda machine at Fox News have so aggressively undermined the legitimacy of Robert Mueller’s inquiry – repeatedly conjuring a “witch hunt” and maintaining a drumbeat of “no collusion” – that Mueller’s report, whatever it shows, will almost surely be overwhelmed by a fog of alt-interpretation and epistemological confusion. What’s “collusion?” What’s illegal? What’s unethical? Has Trump been vindicated or not?
The real danger is that as attention inevitably turns to the 2020 campaign, controversy over the Mueller report will obscure the far more basic issues of Trump’s competence and character.
An American president is not just the chief executive of the United States, and the office he (eventually she) holds is not just a bully pulpit to advance policy ideas. He is also a moral leader, and the office is a moral pulpit invested with meaning about the common good.
Without its legacy film and television business, Fox Corp’s most-high-profile division is Fox News, which is in a symbiotic relationship with the president of the United States. That relationship is already challenging Lachlan to deal with what one Hollywood executive called “the elephant in the room” for Fox – the toxic identity of Fox News in a mostly liberal entertainment industry.
On the other side of the political spectrum, several Fox News staffers said they are distrustful of Lachlan’s devotion to the cable news channel, and some call Lachlan “Fredo” behind his back, an unkind reference to a weak-willed son in “The Godfather.” The opinionated, conservative faction of the company that supports Trump is already testing his authority.
Trump became president, giving Rupert unprecedented access to a sitting US president – a relationship he has long coveted. The two men talk weekly, according to people close to them, and sometimes more often than that.
Lachlan doesn’t like to talk to the politicians. Rupert, however, has always has been attuned to political realities.
This is what Murdoch has always been about THE ART OF THE DEAL something Trump could never finese. (ODT)
“Rupert understood all along that governments care about media and that they meddle in it, and they have rules and you have to have a rapprochement to be successful,” said Reed Hundt, a former FCC chairman in the Clinton administration.
The Murdochs agreed to the Disney offer as the Justice Department was fighting AT&T’s $US85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner. In contrast to the hostility Trump displayed toward that deal, Trump spoke to Rupert the day the Fox deal with Disney was announced and “congratulated him,” according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
(In another sign of the Murdochs and Trumps having close ties: When Ivanka Trump joined the White House, she relinquished her role as trustee of the fortune of Rupert Murdoch’s two youngest children.)
“It’s Lachlan versus the president,” said the 21st Century Fox film executive. “Who do you think is going to win that?”
Trump sounds like Brenton Tarrant in NZ (ODT)
In an interview with Breitbart News published on Wednesday, Trump noted: “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough – until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
In case you missed it, “they” are Trump’s political opponents, including House Democrats and the mainstream media. And the “certain point” could be impeachment but is more likely to be reached if the House investigations reveal crimes Trump committed both before and after he became president.
Trump has given cover to some of the most vile bigots in America. As he grows desperate, he is giving them encouragement
“I actually think that the people on the right are tougher,” Trump warned in the same interview. “But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this invest[igations] – that’s all they want to do is – you know, they do things that are nasty.”
Here we have it, in a nutshell. In Trump’s mind, congressional investigations that could cause him shame and humiliation, and quite possibly result in a prison sentence, will be countered by forces loyal to him: the police, the military, and vigilante groups like Bikers for Trump.
The Goose locked out Journalists from his events and claims entitlement for the tactic. The Gander isn’t inviting the FOX into their party. Factless politics and crocodile tears is Trump’s strategy and style. Fear before Reason his tactic. (ODT)
We’ve known forever that Kushner made repeated “omissions” on his security clearance forms, and then got security clearance (allegedly!) because his father-in-law said so? Two Congressmen have now referred these issues to the Justice Department as a criminal referral.
At a Thursday night party hosted by Turning Point USA, a far-right youth group most known for filming its members wearing diapers on a college campus, people took pictures with a cardboard cut-out of Ocasio-Cortez that had “pendeja,” a Spanish slang word that translates loosely to “dumbass,” written in pen on her face. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., who attended along with Donald Trump, Jr., and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, led the partygoers in a chant that was, by that point, predictable: “Socialism sucks!”
The Trump enabled actions all for the votes and donations in Florida. (ODT)
The Venezuelan authorities called the three defectors “terrorists” and said they had hijacked the two armored vehicles of the National Guard for a publicity stunt orchestrated by the opposition. The opposition said the three were guardsmen, who decided to stand with the Venezuelan people.
Brian Williams didn’t hide the snark on Wednesday’s 11th Hour show. Trump used a video showing Army Corps of Engineers repairing an extension of an existing border fence in New Mexico, touting it as “new” wall construction.
He really does think his base are idiots.
PS Trump’s fake national “emergency” actually takes money from the Army Corps of Engineers.
ISIS is a US creation. So are al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and other terrorist groups – used by the Pentagon and CIA as proxy troops.
Trump claiming “(w)e’re knocking the hell out of ISIS…We have defeated ISIS in Syria” are Big Lies. Earlier he boasted that he “know(s) more about #ISIS than generals do…”
By Stephen Landman
How to really defeat ISIL (ODT)
The literature I’ve reviewed suggests that the best way totally to defeat an insurgency is to change the social and economic situation that caused part of the public to support it. Trump’s mean-spirited denial of reconstruction aid to Raqqa is a much better predictor of an ISIL resurgence than a few roadside bombs.
And that should be the question. How to reconstruct Eastern Syria so as to forestall a return of radicalism that might become a base for terrorism against, e.g. Europe? A couple thousand US troops are not what will solve the problems one way or another, at this phase of the struggle.
Trump may o may not be doing the right thing to pull out the troops. He is definitely doing the wrong thing by declining to put resources into reconstruction.
The only redeeming aspect to Trump’s presidency is he brings us back to basics. And what could be more basic than the difference between democracy and dictatorship?
The choice could not be clearer. Democracy is about means, while dictatorship is about ends. Trump uses any means available to achieve his own ends.
We can preserve our democracy and force Trump out of office. Or we can continue to struggle against someone who strives to thwart democracy for his own benefit.
In the months ahead, that choice will be made, one way or the other.
POTUS BUCK PASSING AGAIN BUT BEFORE THE EVENT (ODT)
he chose to follow recommendations he thinks will fail so he can blame the entire debacle on his press shop. He was already blaming Bill Shine for not rounding up enough loyal surrogates; now those surrogates are responsible for the events of this week, which will mean, in Trump’s mind, that they’re responsible for the whole debacle, even though Trump didn’t have to take their advice and do the speech and the border visit. That was his choice.
Trump cannot fail — he can only be failed, according to Trump. And now he’s established that Shine et al. have failed him. They gave bad advice and he took it, knowing it was bad advice, just so he could blame them.
“Trump’s primetime stunt is a campaign dog-whistle to his base, not a legitimate policy speech about a genuine crisis. Shame on every TV station that airs it.”